Lately, my weekends have been filled, so it was nice to have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I had a chance to catch up with friends, T.V. shows, go to a cafe, a bar, and read! Currently, I’m reading, If I Have to Tell You One More Time…by Amy McCready. I don’t remember how I learned about it (probably through a Facebook ad), but I’m glad I picked it up. Although I’m not finished with it, what I learned so far has been very helpful- not just for my relationship with my daughter, but also to those around me. I highly recommend it. Here are a few key things I’ve implemented that I’ve learned from the book:
Carve out quality one-on-one time
The book suggests starting off with one ten-minute increment then adding a second. I thought every minute of the day I spent with my kid was quality time, but the way they described it is different. Their version requires putting away all distractions (smartphone) and doing what your kid wants to do, playing the way they want to. This week (and most of the time), my daughter requests to play Peppa Pig Dollhouse. More often than not, she is Peppa and George and makes me Suzy Sheep. I set the timer and we’ll play, usually with her characters being not-so-nice to Suzy Sheep. Eventually, she’d complain when the timer goes off, but she’s learned to play on her own while I do something else (like make dinner). The book says each parent needs to spend quality time individually with each child on a daily basis, so if you have more children it might be challenging, but still do-able because the payoff is worth it.
Identifying the three ego states and when to use them
After learning about the three ego states (Parent, Adult, and Child), I realized I oftentimes defaulted to the Parent state with my daughter and sometimes with my husband (oops). Usually, when I called my mother complaining, I mean seeking advice, about how to handle my child, I would get frustrated because her answers would contradict one another. Now, I finally understand she was referring to (but not able to fully explain) the difficult emotional dance one must play in childrearing. While hers was based on years of experience, I’m trying to learn it through a book. I still don’t have it down, but now I can identify and attempt to balance out my egos and reactions based on the situation.
Reacting opposite of your gut
It’s easy to fall into old habits by treating others the way you were treated. However, when old habits involve emotional or physical pain, it’s never a good idea to implement them. One of the hardest things I’ve had to adjust in my parenting is to take a moment before I react, and to emotionally remove myself from the situation. Something a mom I admire taught me to do regarding tantrums was to react with a hug instead of raising my voice. That in itself was difficult, but I slowly saw the difference in my relationship with my daughter. I still occasionally raise my voice, but for the most part, this calmer, quieter way is already showing better results in my relationships.
If I Have to Tell You One More Time…
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Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was made for this post. Westside Mommy borrowed this book from the library and is sharing this for informational purposes only. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains an affiliate link.